This blog is something that I have been batting around in my head for a while now, and me sitting down to write it coincides perfectly with the conclusion of my term papers and Darren’s latest blog.
Sci-Fi writers can see the writing on the wall.
In the 1970’s Science Fiction writer Jerry Pournelle sat down and wrote a book entitled West of Honor and its sequel The Mercenary, which are combined into Falkenburg’s Leigon, these where the inaugural books in the popular CoDominium series, and where followed by Prince of Mercenaries, Go Tell the Spartans, and Prince of Sparta the last two were written with S.M. Stirling, all of these are prequels to the best selling Mote in God’s Eye and The Gripping Hand.
These books where written during the Cold War and still make reference to the USSR. In this series the CoDominium is an alliance between the Soviets and America, in which the 2 countries essentially control the world. (Wikipedia has a good article on the back ground just search for CoDominium) My main concern with all of this is part of the internal structure of the USA at this point in time.
The stories start of in the 2040’s or 50’s and assume that humanity has colonized the stars. In the USA there are essentially 2 classes of Americans: Taxpayers and “Citizens.” The term “Citizen” as it is used here is a derogatory term, given to the class of people making up, what I guess to be, 60-80% of the population. I know that’s a wide range but he never gives any numbers that I can recall. The “Citizens” live in Welfare Islands where the government gives them money to live, they can get an education if they want and they can get a job, but once they get a job then they get kicked of the welfare rolls although they don’t necessarily have to pay taxes.
The Taxpayers, however, are the ones who reap all the major benefits. They usually have the largest share of power and get all kinds of perks from the government, because they float the system. This device is used in another prominent Sci-Fi series David Weber’s Honorverse, where this role is played by the Doles of the Peoples Republic of Haven.
It seems to me that this is unfortunately where America is headed. The more the upper class floats the government, and the more the government support the lower class, the less that the lower classes need to be involved in anything. If the government is going to give poor people who don’t work free money what do they care about who runs the government, as long as they get their share. Welfare creates a dangerous sense of entitlement and complacency when people believe they are owed something for doing NOTHING ! The very fiber of American society is coming undone. For America to be a land of equal opportunity it needs to be a land of equal contribution.
Now I realize that some people might say “But William, the poor can’t contribute as much as the rich!”
I understand that, and accept that. However equal does not always mean an equal amount. What if they just contributed the same percentage that everybody else did? What I’m talking about is a flat rate tax of 15-18%. I realize that some people dislike like paying taxes and think that it’s wrong and unconstitutional, but lets face it people … the government needs money to stay afloat or at least make an attempt at it.
Speaking of seeing the future
Author Tom Kratman has come out with a new book which has bumped it’s way to the top of my must read list. From what I can tell this book is set 100 or so years in the future when Europe, due to it’s declining birthrates, has become an Islamic territory. That’s about all I know, I did like his first book State of Disobedience and A Desert Called Peace, and Carnifex are on my list of books to read though it may be a while before I get to them. Kratman usually does a good job of writing books that make you think about government and I doubt these will be any different.